50 simple chunks of reality to help MPs in these difficult times.
1. The Withdrawal Agreement (WA) is not up for renegotiation
2. The Political Declaration (PD) might be tweaked cosmetically
3. The future relationship will be negotiated during the transition period
4. There will be no transition without the WA
5. The will be no WA without the Financial Settlement
6. A backstop cannot be unilaterally ended or it is not a backstop
7. There will be no WA without a backstop
8. The PD is not a deal on the future relationship
9. The PD is wish list, not binding
10. The PD leaves huge, crucial questions entirely open
11. The level of access to EU markets and programmes is dependent on the level of alignment to EU rules UKGov is willing to commit to.
12. UK restrictions to Freedom of Movement will be directly reciprocated by EU27 for UK citizens
13. Frictionless trade is impossible outside the Single Market and a Customs Union.
14. Neither the Single Market or a Customs union are enough alone for frictionless trade
15. Single Market membership requires Freedom of Movement, whoever is negotiating it
16. EFTA membership is technically very difficult to combine with membership of a Customs Union
17. EFTA/EEA membership requires acceptance of Freedom of Movement.
18. EFTA or EEA membership means very little influence and no formal control over Single Market rules.
19. Adjusting the PD to include EEA+CU would not eliminate the need for a backstop.
20. A New EEA pillar with a customs Union would not be off-the-shelf, and would need to be negotiated.
21. Negotiations on any future relationship may fail.
22. UKGov has explicitly ruled out being in the Single Market, making this a hard, not a soft Brexit.
23. Labour has implicitly ruled out being in the Single Market by not accepting FoM or EU State Aid rules that are required fro membership of it
24. No Deal is a certain national catastrophe
25. There is no such thing as a “WTO Deal”
26. The UK already trades extensively with non-EU countries
27. The projected economic benefits of new trade deals are very small in comparison to Single Market Membership
28. There are, in practice, no EU tariffs on goods from the poorest countries in the world
29. The WA does not protect all rights for EU Citizens in the UK or UK Citizens in the EU.
30. It does not allow either groups to live “exactly as before”.
31. UKGov has complete control over its policy towards non-EU migration
32. It is impossible to enter the UK, except across the IE/NI border, without having your passport checked.
33. Article 50 can be revoked, certainly with EU27 agreement, probably unilaterally.
34. Article 50 can be extended, with EU27 agreement.
35. The EU27's priority is to avoid a chaotic no deal Brexit while not crossing their red lines
36. EU27 will not negotiate a future relationship that crosses their red lines.
37. EU27 are likely to agree to an extension for a Ratify V Remain Referendum
38. EU27 are by now largely ambivalent about which one is chosen
39. EU27 are unlikely to grant an extension for more messing around with obvious route to a solution.
40. EU27 are unlikely to grant an extension and will not reopen the WA just due to a change of government
41. Reviewing a previous decision using the same method that decision was based on is not undemocratic
42. Proceeding with Brexit will not heal divisions
43. There is no problem that being poorer helps.
44. All versions of Brexit will leave the UK poorer.
45. EU Member States are unlikely to allow UK rejoin for many years, possibly decades
46. UK would retain it’s vetoes, opt-outs, and rebate if it remained a member of the EU
47. No responsible Government or Parliament could allow No Deal
48. MPs should not vote for any deal they believe to be bad for the country.
49. UKGov can choose to try to stop a No Deal Brexit at any time before it happens.
50. If No deal happened, it would be because the Government had chosen not to stop it, and considered that appalling harm to the UK and its population was worth it for their own political ends.
There was a big factual error in the first version of this thread, so it has been redone from point 15 onwards. Apologies to those who commented on or RT'ed any points from the original.
As @syrpis points out, 47 should really have added to it “if nothing is agreed and no action is take we leave on 29 March with a (catastrophic) no deal.”